This past weekend we did a little bit of cleaning up around the garden to try to get it ready for some outdoor parties. The plants had all grown wildly from all the rain this year so we gave them a little bit of love: Whether you have a garden on your balcony or just a window box, if your plants are in containers they need a little bit of extra help since the soil can become depleted. Here's what we did to help them: • not fun, but we got all the weeds out making sure to get them out at the root. Don't shake too much dirt off the roots otherwise you risk replanting the weed in the container. • Using sharp clippers we got rid of anything dead, sickly or way too overgrown (though we still like things a little wild). • We've been saving coffee grounds each morning and finally used them on all the containers. Coffee is a natural fertilizer and is especially good for acidic plants like azaleas and roses. So we sprinkled a handful or so in each container along with a little extra potting soil (we seem to have lost a lot of soil to the weeds). • Now that we could really see what we were working with, we took some of the clippings from the succulents and stuck them into bald spots in the containers so that by the end of the summer they'll be all filled in. We could also just buy plants to fill them in, but we're impatient to just be done and enjoy the garden. • Before we watered and made the pots any heavier we made sure that we didn't want to do some rearranging (which we did). • Finally a nice complete watering. A reminder not to do the watering at the end of the day as that can increase the chances of the roots rotting as they sit in water all night. Better to do it when the sun is still out and can evaporate any of the extra water. Anyone use any other natural fertilizers?